To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland’s survey finding that more than half of healthcare professionals are contemplating leaving the NHS or retiring early due to pressures faced during the covid-19 pandemic; and what steps he is taking to ensure the adequate provision of expertise in the NHS.
The Government is committed to supporting the National Health Service workforce and has committed to deliver 50,000 more nurses, to increase the general practice workforce by 6,000 doctors and to enrol 26,000 other primary care professionals. Through increased education funding we are now seeing a record high intake for medical students and historically high numbers of people entering nursing degrees. Our new healthcare visa means we are cutting application decision times, removing the immigration surcharge and in turn ensuring the supply of international healthcare workers remains strong. Finally, the NHS People Plan is helping us retain staff through an enhanced wellbeing offer to help mitigate stress and a diversity and inclusion programme to ensure all staff feel valued.